18 Jan 2017

Body Confidence Isn't Size Relative.


I am 5ft 3 and a half (the half is very important) and I'm a UK size 10, sometimes an 8 on top but safely speaking, I'm a size 10.

I imagine that a lot of women reading this would be thinking: "good for you", "lucky cow" or "I wish I was a size 10."

I used to think that way too before I unintentionally lost a lot of weight a few years ago. I used to look at girls with a petite frame and think, SWEET FRIGGIN' JESUS, I'D SAW OFF MY OWN ARM TO LOOK LIKE THAT.

But nowadays it's a whole different story. Despite being the smallest I've been since I was 15, I lack body confidence.

There I said it.

I don't like what I'm confronted with when I'm stood bare in front of a mirror. Flaunting my figure isn't something I'm comfortable with or enjoy. I'm ALL about the baggy clothing, rarely wearing anything that clings; because if I do, I'll feel extremely self-aware. Last time I wore a body con dress I spent the entire night yanking it down, convinced people were staring at me - not fun.

But what's worse than feeling as physically appealing as a potato with sprouty bits coming out of it is feeling like you're not allowed to have body issues, because you're neither overweight or 'too skinny'. Everyone just assumes that you're being all WOE IS ME, fishing for compliments when you express your body insecurities. I mean, what could you possibly have against your 'perfect size 10' physique?

So in the end you do the very unhealthy thing and bottle it up.

If I dared to say that I hate the way I look in the nuddy, 687584 people would get their backs up and take offence because they're either the same size as me or heck, bigger than me. And if I hate my body then I MUST think they look hideous too, right?

WRONG. My issue with my body is exactly that - an issue I have with my own body, not anyone else's. There are a whole host of girls who I think are hot as hell, and their body sizes/shapes vary immensely. They are simply beautiful women, who look great and ooze confidence. They're evidently comfy in their own skin and I envy that.

Y'see, me disliking my body has eff all to do with the number that pops up when I jump on the scales or what's scrawled inside my jeans. I'm aware that I'm a healthy weight (I eat and exercise accordingly) and I'm under no illusion that I'd miraculously love myself if I shrunk any more.

I never used to battle with the body blues. At 18/19 I didn't give a toss about my figure, it was what it was. I embraced my shape with all sorts of outrageous skimpy outfits and I ate what I wanted (crap) when I wanted (all the god damn time).

My body was just a vessel that held my organs in and allowed me to 'be'.

I was never the tiniest of girls but this IDGAF attitude, as it does, lead me to become a bit of a chunky monkey. My body confidence level remained high though, I didn't care. I continued to wear what I wanted and I truly, hand-on-heart felt content with my body, wobbly bits and all.

And then, as aforementioned earlier in this post, I lost a lot of weight, 2st to be precise. It came about because I moved out, landed myself a job where I was on my feet for 5hrs + at a time and had less money to splurge on weekly McDonald's double sausage and egg McMuffins *sob*.

So yeah, I never set out to shed my excess weight, I wasn't trying to change. It just happened.

And in rolled the compliments. Friends, family, even people who I hadn't seen in YEARS said how amazing I looked. Hell, some even congratulated me. Congratulated me for something I never set out to do.

Paying someone a compliment is well intended and is meant to boost their self-esteem, yet these had the exact opposite effect on me. These kind words made me wonder what was wrong with me before the weight loss. Did I really look that awful? Was I strutting around with rose-tinted specs on?

I thought I looked fine but obviously not. Shit, did people used to laugh at me?

This resulted in me and my brain having a whopping great fall out. I felt lied to, deceived by my own eyeballs. And I'm still to learn to fully trust them again.

I am getting better as time goes on. After years of seeking reassurance, possibly at the annoyance of others (as I said, I'm sure they thought I was fishing but I genuinely felt that I needed approval from another pair of eyes) I can occasionally look at myself in something and think 'YAASS girl' without instantly doubting myself.

Basically, the whole point of this post - besides to offload whole load of feelings I can't/don't want to physically discuss with anyone - is to make it clear that body confidence isn't size relative. Being body confident isn't about being a certain size. It's a mindset. A mindset I'm trying to change.
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